‘I am scared mum, but I want to do it’. These were the words coming out of my 10 year old daughter’s mouth, in regards to her application to become a student councillor (or prefect in some systems).
I rallied quickly to get behind her. Of course you can do it darling, we can do hard things (thank you Glennon Doyle!). It’s great to feel scared and still go for the thing we want. The next question from her mouth sent me into deep contemplation.
‘Were you a student councillor mum?’.
‘Oh why? Did you not want to be one?’.
I stopped and tuned into a memory of my 11 year old self. I remember the student councillor elections. I remember telling anyone who would listen that there was no way I would do that role. I was not interested. It was lame to be a student councillor.
But the truth is, I couldnt even label the emotion but I knew enough to let it keep me in my place. It was fear. Fear of being seen. I was scared and I let that fear stop me. I was worried that I wouldn’t be good enough, that no-one would vote for me and I wouldnt stack up compared to the other, more suitable and clearly more popular candidates.
So, at 11, I already had a program in place that told me I was unworthy and unlovable. I already had a shadow that stopped me from taking true action. Plus… I was already listening to it and allowing it to influence me.
Fast forward to 2022. Standing in the kitchen listening to my 10 year old tell me how she is afraid, but it’s something she really wants, so she’s just going to put herself out there. I applaud you, my daughter. I am so proud right now.
Today, she stood in front of over 200 students in a school she has been a student at for less than a year, and she delivered her ‘candidate speech’, compelling her peers to vote for her. How incredible is that?
Sometimes, she drives me bananas with her unwillingness to just agree to what I say and do what I say! She is a free thinker and she is more than happy to state her opinion, even if it’s unpopular. She uses her imagination and creativity freely and she seems so much more comfortable in her own skin than I was at the same age.
It triggers me so much sometimes, because I recognise, it’s how I want to be. I want to express myself with creativity and not let my imagination be stifled by my concern over what others will think of me.
But the other part of me is bursting with pride and admiration. Here’s a young human who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. Here’s a young human who is ok with putting herself out there, and being ok that it might not go her way. But doing it anyway.
So what have I learnt from all of this, that you might resonate with too?
Here are my three takeaways:
- We can learn amazing things from our children, especially when we let our guards down and realise that we dont have the have all the answers (just because we are the adult!).
- It’s important to celebrate our differences. Often something that triggers us in someone else, is something we need to see in ourselves.
- What is something you really want to do, but so far, you have let fear hold you back? How can you take your first step today to bringing that thing to life?
I hope this story gives you pause, and allows you to reflect on something similar that is going on in your world. I dare say, if its happening for me, it is likely happening with some of you too.
I’d love to hear your shares, please get in touch. Until we meet again,
Live, Love and Laugh,